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Notes from the U20 European Championship 2014

July 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

The U20 European Championship in Crete is over. Thanks to the availability of Live Streams, it was possible to follow several games from the event. However, I could only sneak in some moments so that I can not come up with full scouting reports. So here are a few notes that I put down while watching games.

The MVP of the event has been Cedi Osman from Turkey. The long (2m01)1995 born guard can split the defense with great direction changes and ball control. He is really quick on his feet on both ends of the floor. He can reach in on the defensive end for the entry pass to the low post for the steal from outside. When he puts the ball on the floor, he can finish from mid-range with the two feet floater but also go for the euro step finish. He showed some nice hesitations in Pick and Roll situations. His three point shot could be a bit quicker, especially out of the dribble.

Emircan Kosut showed some interesting potential as he is really long with his 7 feet and good mobility. However, he lacks the physical presence as he was a year younger than the competition. He loses his balance when going up against stronger players like Sebastian Saiz and he has not yet the necessary touch to finish over this kind of defense. However, Kosut can attack the basket on the dribble from the top and finish at the rim with 1 or 2 dribbles. The Turkish big guy can also pass out of the low post to the cutters and recognize the right situations for the kick-out. His shooting mechanics are not totally stable yet but the release looks promising to develop into a good finisher around the key or even the three-point line in the future.

Metecan Birsen showed once again his versatility and ability to play both forward positions. The 1995 born Nike Hoop Summit participant was used nicely in the low post where he showed good fakes. But he also played the Pick and Roll as ball handler and found his team mates in tough dribble situations. The U20 Euro this summer was his best outing in terms of assists since the U16 European Championship in 2011.

For Spain, Oriol Pauli had a great final after staying quite calm in the previous games. Nevertheless it was him who brought the Final to his team by scoring the winning basket in the semi-final against Croatia. Pauli with his great size can play both SG and SF. He is a good presence in the defensive rebound because of his good jumping ability and he can immediately initiate the fast break with correct ball handling and great speed. Next to his excellent feet, Pauli can also knock down shots from behind the three point line. In the Championship game, Pauli showed also impressive range making two big three pointers from was deeper than NBA distance. This gives him the opportunity to use his great first step on close outs of his defensive player. On the drive, he can go up to the hoop and finish on the dunk or with hangtime on the tough layup.

Alberto Diaz was the energizing leader on both ends of the court for the Spanish team. Not particularly gifted offensively, Diaz is a superb one-on-one defensive pressure guy who can chase the opposing guards over the whole court. He reads the lanes of the offense really well and has the quick feet to get ready to take the charges. On the offensive end, Diaz plays in a “John Goldsberry” role setting up the offense and finding the right angles to initiate the offense. His three point is not very fluid but he is able to create it out of the dribble when necessary even if the execution is quite slow.

Despite finishing only at the 8th place, France had a couple of interesting prospects on their roster. Mam Jaiteh looks more and more like he has reached his ceiling as there is not much room of physical improvement left. For the big French, he needs to add some new things on the skill side now. Against this kind of competition, Jaiteh could easily use the drop step using both hands. He knocks down the occasional jump shot around the key when left completely open but I could not see at least in the French games I followed that he has made progress in his back-to-the-basket game. In the key moments of the quarter final, Jaiteh missed a couple of decisive plays as he struggled to catch a pass or use his physical force to get to the rim.

The surprise of the French team was the December 95 born Guerschon Yabusele, a 2m00 tall power forward with a great physical presence in the paint. Yabusele gave France a good verticality in the paint but more surprisingly, he had also nice hands with a good outside touch. The youngest player in the team, Yabusele played an important role in a similar style to a young Kyle Hines. Alexandre Chassang was the other Power Forward of the French team and he is a prospect that is already followed for a longer time already. He played the stretch four role as he is a very good catch and shoot three point shooter. Physically he is quite strong but his feet are not the quickest. He has a good feel for the offensive rebound and he can put the ball back into the basket immediately on the high catch.

On the fourth-placed Croatian team, I took a close look at their PG Paolo Marinelli who showed some interesting decision making. Marinelli attacks the rim nicely but he is not a very physical finisher more going for the finesse move like the floater out of his pocket. He controls the ball well, also when being pressured hard on defense. His footwork is good and he can use it for excellent accelerations out of the crossover dribble. The 95 born was unable to score from behind the three-point line on a regular basis which was a bit of a problem.

Matic Rebec was another PG who played a nice tournament as the Slovenian showed great ball handle and control in the most difficult situations. His passing techniques and angles are on really high level and he can find the kick out perfectly even when struggling with his body balance. He has deep range from three point territory even if his shot a bit too “chesty”.

Michail Kamperidis was an interesting player on the Greek team that finished 6th at the U20 European Championship. He played mainly as a stretch four with the possibility to knock down the three point shot on a regular basis. He can also attack the basket strongly and finish hard on the two handed dunk. Physically quite developed, Kamperidis had a clear preference to play with his face to the basket, even out of the low post where he wants to use a good first step to beat his defender on the dribble.

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